Saturday, Lovers’ Day 2009
The Nazca Lines. No one has yet come up with the definitive who, what or why of these geoglyphs, biomorphs, and straight lines on the Nazca Plains between Palpa and Nazca. The only way to properly see them is to take to the air, and that is exactly what we did. Our pilot was in his mid-twenties and our Cessna 170 tail dragger came off the assembly line in Wichita, KS, in the early fifties. As the plane only carries three passengers, we had to split up: RA rode with two Brazilians and Jeanne, Gray, and I flew together.
We were each given a small map with the route of the flight with a depiction of each of the figures we would fly over. It did not matter which side of the plane you sat on as the pilot did a steep turn one way and then reversed course and did it the other way. Those of you who have taken flying lessons know about turns about a point and this young pilote had it down pat, maintaining altitude and airspeed while narrating his moves over the intercom system. The plane performed well, as all of us over 50 do J, and we soon had the flight of a lifetime under our belts. Google the Nazca Lines if you want to learn more about this mysterious and interesting archaeological site.
After a quick breakfast at the hotel we were off on a tour of Nazca itself. We saw the Pardeones Ruins, more lines from the top of a small hill, the still operating underground Cantallo aqueduct system, visited an extremely entertaining potter and a small gold extracting operation where they still use mercury in the process of obtaining that precious metal.
We boarded our fancy bus after a quick lunch of Chinese food and were in Paracas about 1800. We watched a pretty sunset from our beach front room at the Hotel El Condor before having a light dinner and retiring to our rooms to prepare for our boat trip to the Ballestas Islands on Sunday morning.